Week 3: Laughter (Maintain Your High Maintenance Marriage)


The running joke is that sarcasm is our love language.

The very first time I met Greg, he showed up with a couple of friends to help me move apartments. My two takeaways about him that day were, “wow, his eyes are really beautiful” and “dude, he’s funny.”

When I first met his family, they told me they were thrilled he finally met someone who could come back at his jokes and jabs so quickly.

One Saturday early in our dating relationship, we drove to Chattanooga for the day. Halfway there Greg started his rendition of the song version of “The Lord’s Prayer,” which sounds incredibly sacrilegious, but the tears streaming down my face were in breathless laughter, not offense.

When I knew things were getting serious between us and I considered he might even be The One, I made him sit down and watch my all-time favorite movie, Waiting for Guffman. He didn’t know it at the time, but if he didn’t like the movie, I was really going to have to reevaluate our relationship.

(I kid.)

(Or do I?)

At any rate, it’s safe to say that laughter has been a HUGE part of our marriage.

(And for the record, he laughed more at it the first time than I did.) (I always knew he was a keeper.)

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E.E. Cummings

Greg and I laugh at and with each other. Laughter has taken the sting out of many painful situations and circumstances, and has equalized many conversations. Most discussions, heartfelt outpourings and deep talk always ends with some kind of a joke to diffuse the heaviness. Not in a manner of minimizing the importance of what’s happening, but to get us to loosen up.

Because it’s so vital in marriage to not take yourselves so seriously. (tweet)

Take God seriously, yes. Take the sanctity of marriage seriously, yes. But honestly, a lot of us (or maybe, just me) need to do some chilling out about life and love and marriage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten beyond high-strung about something and Greg will temper it all with a joke.

And vice-a versa. Likewise, I’m sure.

(10 points if you get the reference.)

And I’m absolutely, 100% confident laughter is important to God.

  • God told Abraham and Sarah to name their child laughter (Genesis 17:19)
  • David said that nights of crying our eyes out will give way to days of laughter (Psalm 30:5, The Message)
  • Psalm 91 says, “I’m whistling, laughing and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.”
  • David wanted to “run loose and free, celebrating God’s great work, every bone in my body laughing, singing ‘God, there’s no one like you.” (Psalm 35:9, The Message)

“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” – Jesus

If Jesus came to give us life to enjoy and have in abundance, why don’t we think that applies to our marriages, too? When I enjoy a movie, I laugh. When I enjoy a book, I laugh. When I am thrilled to no end to finally be in bed at the end of the day, I laugh myself to sleep.

(I kid.)

(Or do I?)

And when I enjoy my hilarious husband, I laugh. No one on earth makes me laugh like he does. He brings me smiles and joy, every day.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s been that way since the beginning of time, and if it was the same for Adam and Eve, and maybe they even laughed years later about their biggest faux pas.

Like maybe Eve says, “Remember that time The Almighty asked you if you ate the apple? And you were all like, ‘Dude! It was her! That woman you gave me!’ Like you couldn’t have not eaten it! Dude, you’re hilarious.'”

And maybe every time Eve struggled to figure out what to make for dinner Adam said, “Why don’t we have Baked Apples? Or Apple Pie? Or Apple Fritters?Anything with apples would be awesome.”

And then maybe she flicked him with the kitchen towel and maybe he made a face like he’s a regular ol’ stand up comedian.


“Laughter is carbonated holiness.” – Anne Lamott

I think enjoying our spouses makes God laugh too. I think when we all get to heaven we’re going to be shocked at how much fun we have, and maybe we’ll be standing in line weekly for tickets to Jesus’ stand up show.

(He’s probably way into physical comedy.)

I think when we laugh with our spouse and have fun together and don’t take life and each other so seriously…I think when that happens God christens us all Isaacs.

“You have as much laughter as you have faith.” – Martin Luther

Ya gotta have faith. And a whole lotta laughin’.

Challenge: Take one night to watch a funny show with your spouse…phones, computers and iPads closed. Or while you’re out on a date, don’t allow any heavy conversation, or anything work-related; make it a “for fun” date only. Or talk about ways you can bring more laughter into your marriage. Pray that God would show you ways you and your spouse can lighten up and not take yourselves so seriously.

Additional resources you might find helpful:

Be blessed this week. And please be sure to check out other great posts in this collaborative series!



Laughing (Thanksday #75)

The tears streamed down my cheeks and I couldn’t see and my stomach hurt so badly and I wasn’t making any noise at all. Then a sudden gasp for air would erupt and I’d finally make a terribly horrendous noise and let out a “hoooooooooooooooo” to calm down my racing heart and aching abs. And it was well past midnight and we were in the middle of a field, sitting four across on a bench as we watched the meteor showers above. We were interrupted every few minutes by an “ooooh, look!” and we felt like dogs chasing squirrels as we stopped laughing long enough to watch a meteor zip by. And suddenly she would say something else and the cycle would continue once again and next thing I know it’s been three or four straight hours of side-splitting laughter on repeat.

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:20)

As we drug ourselves to bed we tried so very, very hard not to wake up our friend who had went to sleep early, which made it harder not to laugh. And the more we tried to remain calm the more the laughter begged to be released. It was pleading and demanding and dying to be set free. As I lay in bed trying desperately to stuff my giggles back down, my phone buzzed. My friend on the opposite side of the room had sent me a text that simply said, “Hi.” The dam burst and the squeals rushed forth relieved to be free from the confines of my throat.

I haven’t laughed that loud or that long in a very, very long time.

I love those times when you’re not supposed to be laughing but it bursts out of you like an effervescent geyser, uncontrollable and necessary, soaking everyone around you…even those who didn’t want to get wet. Those times when you hold your cheeks because laughing for even one more second makes it feel like your face will break. Those times when you have to hold your stomach and dry your eyes because oh-my-gosh-take-me-to-heaven-now I’m the happiest I’ve been in ages.

There simply aren’t enough of those times.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 31:25)

In seasons of distress and chaos and frustration and depression and loneliness there simply aren’t enough of those times. They are too few but should be many. Our futures are secure and God’s plans for us are for good and He came to give us life abundant and full and plentiful and overflowing. Wouldn’t the ultimate display of our trust in God be to laugh in the midst of the trials? To be so fully at peace with God’s hand on our lives that we have the freedom to sit back and laugh and enjoy? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate diss to satan — to laugh at the days to come instead of being wrought with worry and strife and angst? Not minimizing the pain and not ignoring realities and not being irresponsible…but to acknowledge it and pray about it and decide to laugh anyway and live in fullness of joy. That’s what I’m taking about. Richness in spirit and in love and in laughter.

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them.’” (Psalm 126:2, NLT)

Isn’t that the best testimony of all?

I’m so thankful for laughter this week. For breath-losing, side-splitting, tears-streaming, ab-hurting laughter. For friends who lose their breath and split their sides and stream their tears and hurt their abs laughing with me.

What are you thankful for?

Thanksday #59

Look! Thanksday has it’s own special graphic now. And for no other reason than I  like to have visual aids with my points. If I thought you’d like it, I’d make a PowerPoint presentation and insert it into here.

But I loathe PowerPoint.

There’s not going to be much more of an intro here than this, and sorry about that. I stayed up until like 11 o’clock PM last night finishing this post, and had such a fun and witty (I thought) intro all written. (Uninteresting side note: sometimes I have the actual thankfuls written sporadically throughout the week, then I just wrap it up with an intro last.) (‘Cuz y’all were on the edge of your seats wondering how all this ridiculocity comes together.) I scheduled the post to go live at 6:30 am. So what happens when I get up at 6:30 am? The earlier version, incomplete, posted. With all sorts of random nonsensicals.

So now I’m a typing fool trying to remember what last-minute edits I made and republish this bad boy before y’all get yer lazy bums outta bed. (The things I do for the five of you.)

Thankfuls for this week!

1. H&M. I finally have been inaugurated into the H&M experience. Where have I been? Oh, that’s right. In the mountains. Needless to say, I got some super-cute things for Jaana for spring, and one floral-trend-inspired shirt for me. Which Greg hates and says looks like one of his grandmother’s shirts. Which means it’s fab-u-locity.

2. Kindred Spirits. I love when God brings friends into your life that leave you encouraged, edified and uplifted. And understood. And not alone. I had some time with that friend recently, and I’m always amazed at how much God loves us to continue to cross our paths time and time again. It leaves me with a heightened sense of anticipation about what might be to come in the future.

3. Nail Polish. Now that it’s 80-degrees (practically), I’ve officially switched out my boots for my spring and summer shoes. All of which are open-toed and all of which require a pedicure. I’ve yet to go professionally get the situation taken care of, so I’m DIY-ing it. My most recent polish selection was shimmery turquoise color. Which Greg hates. But we can’t live life keeping our husbands in a polish rut, can we? We’ve got to keep them on their toes. Literally.

4. Spring. Lots to be thankful for and happy about with this new season upon us, and you can read about all that here.

5. Veggie Tales Live. Paxton has just recently discovered the joy that is Bob and Larry. He knows almost all the silly songs by heart, and has certain favorites that we all know by heart now. (Cue His Cheeseburger and The Water Buffalo Song.) So when we found out that Veggie Tales Live was coming to our area, we did what every family does on every Palm Sunday – took them to the show. He truly had no idea what he was walking in to. I think in his little mind it was basically a Veggie Tales movie.

See? Watching the video screens, saying ‘cheese’ to I don’t know who.

But when Bob and Larry strolled out larger than life, my little dude gasped loudly and said, “Iss Larry! Iss Bob!” And proceeded to have the time. of. his. life. Anytime Larry or Bob left the stage, he was up in arms about whether or not they’d be back. The suckers that we are, Greg bought him a stuffed Larry, and it goes everywhere with him and Elmo. And Jaana’s nightgown of choice is her oversized Larry t-shirt.

I’m just ready to stop going to bed and waking up in the mornings with Love My Lips on my lips.

6. Highlights. I made the blessed mistake of going darker on my hair at my last visit. For some reason, I’ve been all worried about turning 39, and do I look like I’m trying to hard with blonder highlights? and I don’t even know what my real color is anymore. And while the darker blonde hid the grow-out very well, it just didn’t feel like me. And I kept using blonde-enhancing shampoo to lighten it up. At my most recent visit (6 weeks overdue, might I add), I went back to my regular blonde.

Because I had this epiphany – if Kelly Ripa and Gwenyth Paltrow can have blondie-blonde hair and be my age, then sure as heck I can too.

And as Hair Guy removed the towel and shook out my hair, I just heaved a sigh of joy and relief and literally said out loud, “Welcome home!” And now all my bright colored clothes (three tops…it’s not like I have green skinny jeans or anything like that.) (Yet.) look normal on me once again. Why didn’t anyone tell me it was so bad?? And you call yourselves friends. Sheesh.

7. Easter. Christy Nockels said it best on Twitter this week: “I love Easter! It’s all about Jesus but no mad rush at the malls to buy presents. We get to just face the wonder of our risen Lord & rejoice.” I can’t add or take away anything from those 140 characters that could make it better. Jesus is everything. I do everything for Him and nothing without Him. If He isn’t your personal Lord and Savior – the Giver of All Good Things in your life – the Breath of Heaven to your very tired, weary and worn out soul – you need to contact me and I’ll help you make that happen.

(Shameless plug alert: And if you live in my community and don’t have a home church, please come to Community Bible Church at 10:45 am on Easter morning! Amazing programs for the kids, and I can tell you personally (‘cuz I’m in the choir), the worship is going to rock. your. face. off.)

8. WordPress. The enormously long saga of switching to WordPress is finally (FINALLY!) complete. (And I just heard a collective, “Thank God now we can stop hearing about it across the world wide web.”) Oh my word, I’m so happy.

9. Laughing Until I Cry. Y’all, I read this post at like 6:45 am one morning and was laughing so hard, and crying from laughing so hard, I couldn’t breathe or see. Maybe because it’s something my friends and I would do. Maybe it’s just something I would do. Whatevs.

10. Tickling Myself. (Not literally. Ew.) I just discovered on this here WordPress that I can give each of the links to other sites personalized titles. Hover over any of the links above to see. I make myself chuckle. A lot. It’s the little things, people. Or as I like to say, “ITLTP.” (Okay, I don’t really like to say that.)

And let me add a bonus thankful, just for missing last week:

11. Babies. People I adore have welcomed babies into their families this week! So exciting and fun for them. Two baby girls. God is so good.

Another bonus, just ‘cuz I’m feeling extra chipper:

12. The Von Trapp Family Bloggers. Greg has officially launched blog, and has had some great posts already. His focus is on leadership, and I for one, am proud of him for getting out there! (Just don’t muscle in on my followers, or you’re swimmin’ wit da fishes.)

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’s a lot more fun than PowerPoint. And that’s a fact, jack.